Mastering the Holidays – A Canine Master

Thanksgiving is here and with it the official start of the holiday season. From the last Thursday in November until well into next year, it’s a time of gatherings and celebrations.

And family.

Family is what makes the holidays great. And to most of us, our dogs are family. It’s essential that Rudolph the Schnauzer have a great time too if we are to call these festivities a success.

So, before the first guests arrive, it’s a good time to review the rules. Just like we know we...

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Mastering Separation Anxiety: Treating the Cause and Not the Symptoms

A friend recently reached out to me because her parents’ 7-year-old Standard Poodle was showing signs of separation anxiety.

Her parents had relocated to Florida and now the dog continuously barks when her parents leave the apartment and the neighbors are complaining. To make matters worse, the dog is also showing other symptoms and has stopped eating.

Many times a dog will start showing signs of anxiety (panting, salivating, pacing, barking and whining) as soon as the owners start to...

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Monstering Halloween…or Mastering Howl-a-ween

Halloween is a holiday for thrills and chills. But it’s important we don’t forget that the best way to enjoy a holiday is by making sure we enjoy it safely.

It’s fun to include the family pet in family activities, so it’s natural to think that we should include our dogs in the festivities. I once saw a family dressed as the dogs from Paw Patrol with their dog dressed as Ryder. It was very creative.

But the best holidays are safe holidays. Especially for dogs.

Leave...

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Mouthing and Chewing is Not Just Lip Service

Puppies explore the world with their mouths.

It is completely normal for puppies to mouth just about everything, including us. And unfortunately for us, a puppy’s baby teeth are very sharp and painful - like little needles.

It helps, though, if we understand that they don't mean to be hurtful.

It doesn’t help the physical pain but it may allay some fears.

Some of my clients quickly jump to conclusions and fear they may have an aggression problem. But most of the time it is just...

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Simon Says, Enjoy The Car Ride

I was running errands the other day and in the parking lot of a shopping center I saw a familiar scene. A young family - having finished at the dog groomer - struggling to get their 80-pound Weimaraner into the car.

The dog wasn't acting untrained or belligerent. She wasn't having fun or jumping around in a playful manner.

The dog was afraid.

And I flash-backed almost 20 years. It reminded me of one of my earliest clients, Simon.

I first met Simon at one of my first training classes. His...

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It's Back to School

Ahhh, the end of summer…

The sad sobs of children outdone only by the plaintive cries of teachers everywhere.

But don't forget the mournful howls of our furry friends.

The end of lazy, playful summer days and the return to routine and schedules can be a difficult adjustment for everybody. If you have a pet, you should also consider how it affects them. Those early alarms mean long stretches of quiet at home. The loss of play pals. Less park days. And since dogs can't read calendars,...

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How to Housebreak Your Dog

Like in most of my trainings, I try to approach housebreaking as naturally as possible. As instinctively as possible. Dogs have a natural den instinct. They like to sleep in a small, close, dark, confined space. And they will not soil where they sleep.

We can take advantage of this natural instinct to housebreak them.

Paper training or using wee wee pads goes against this natural den instinct. It teaches the puppy that it is okay to go to the bathroom in his den and this confuses the puppy....

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Are Your Ready to Get a New Dog?

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

That quote by Dr. Ian Malcolm from the movie Jurassic Park applies to so many situations. Deciding if you are ready to join the league of animal caretakers is absolutely one.

It's not enough to think you are ready; this is a life-changing decision, one must know it. Picking the right dog for you should take almost much thought as finding the right life partner.

How old are you? Add...

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Why Teach a Dog the Doggie Paddle?

The “Dog Days of Summer” are here. And as the temperatures creep higher and higher, nothing spells relief for man and beast like a dip in the nearest body of water.

Unless you can’t swim. Then it’s just a danger to be avoided.

And the same applies to your pooch. Swimming is great exercise for your dog. Many experts believe that just 5 minutes of continuous swimming is equivalent to a 5-mile run in a lower impact activity. Swimming is great for high-energy, active dogs...

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